What is Furoshiki?

Furoshiki, which is a piece of square cloth and the world’s first eco-bag, has traditionally been used to wrap and carry things.

They began to come into use in Japan in the 8th century (Nara era), and became a familiar feature in the daily life of the average Japanese, generally being used with family crests and trading business names dyed into to wrap their belongings so that they would not be mistaken for others in public baths, for example.

Furoshiki, which can have such diverse uses as gift wrapping, bags, scarves, tablecloths, etc. is a way to show warm hospitality by wrapping gifts in beautiful cloth, and contains the wisdom and aesthetics of the Japanese people who understand that “even just one piece of Furoshiki cloth can be repeatedly used for a number of useful purposes.”

In commemorating the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government will, along with promoting the appeal of Japanese culture, endeavor to update Furoshiki to the modern era as an opportunity to help spread the message that Tokyo, a city that works to promote environmental issues and disaster prevention measures to the world, would like to convey on these issues.

By all means, please feel the wisdom and ingenuity of our ancestors, which is deeply imbedded in Furoshiki, by experiencing a Japanese art form that has various functions ranging from environmental use, use during disasters, and in fashion.

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